Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Season in Pictures: The Leadville Mining Hall of Fame

This is from a huge room of mini-dioramas explaining mining, starting with the Gold Rush; I loved this depiction of sluice-mining.

A canary in a coal mine, just one tiny part of just one of the amazing 'mines' you can walk through here. They really give you an idea of what miners' days were (and are) like!

A huge sculpture of a miner, mining. I also loved the elaborate stained glass windows, depicting everything from jackhammers to those huge dump trucks, one of which you can see behind the sculpture.

The pictures simply do not do this place justice. We walked in thinking, 'okay, we'll spend an hour, how exciting can a museum about mining be?' And left thinking, 'whoa.'

If you're ever in Leadville, Colorado, it is worth a stop!

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Season in Pictures: Wii-Free Swordfighting

We didn't bring the Wii out to the Rockies on our recent visit to my folks'; instead, we decided to make some swords!

There they are: from left to right, Destroy, Sting, and Anduril, Flame of the West. Owen did the writing, and was very happy with the results:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Season in Pictures

Happy spring!

We're home from the Rockies, jet lag is all taken care of and the boys aren't quite as grumpy now, having decided that life goes on even when Grandma isn't around to spray whipped cream straight from the can into their mouths ('because I can DO that as the grandmother!' I hear her shouting happily).

Also, I have finally uploaded many pictures from the trip and the last month or so.

And I thought, since my arms are still healing from the chronic knitting injury I have dealt them, that I would spend at least the early spring, if not the whole thing, blogging more in images than in words.

So, here are a few pics from the recent trip; we were spoiled with more than just whipped cream! We went dog-sledding, as in we got to mush the dogs. Who were awesome, btw. In fact, Luke wants to someday start a company doing dog-sledding here in the east. Here are the boys mushing:

Yes, at ages six and ten they got to drive a team of dogs, kind of a life highlight for them both. And me too, come to think of it.

We are so grateful to Grandma and Grandpa for making the whole trip possible, thanks Mom and Dad!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Perfect Ski Soundtrack

I bet you have songs that you associate with memories. I sure do, and the one song that has come up frequently while the boys and I visit my folks in the Colorado Rockies is What's Up? by 4 Non Blondes. It's a song that has always brought me back to really good times, and for some reason I associate it especially with skiing.

Growing up, skiing in my family was more than just a pastime - it was an instition. My parents' first date was skiing in rural Quebec, my brothers and I were skiiers before we were five, and we skiied every winter, often getting up before dawn and driving five hours to our favorite ski hills in Vermont and New Hampshire. It was the only thing that I would willingly get up before noon for on a weekend, and a big reason why winter is still my favorite season.

Naturally, when my folks retired from the rat race, they didn't head to Florida; they took a hard right turn, and have spent the last dozen years poo-pooing our Eastern icy skiing conditions and grabbing fresh powder by the fistful out here in the West. It really is a most remarkable place.

So, 4 Non Blondes! Maybe What's Up? gets a lot of play at ski hills, because I already associated it with skiing before yesterday, when I heard it twice, first sitting in a base lodge and feeling absolutely high on the best day of skiing I've had since before Luke and Owen came along. For the first time ever, I got above the timberline without being dragged and/or nervous, and just was loving everything about it: the steeps, the bumps, the view, the sun on my face, the wide-open feeling of being at the top of the world.

I almost got an all is right with the world feeling (want to know what that is? Click here), sitting in the base lodge and thinking back on an incredible day of skiing with my father. Almost, but not quite - that feeling came about half an hour later when, on the three-minute drive back up to my parents' home, What's Up? started in the parking lot and finished in their driveway.

It turns out, that's like my Dad's favorite song! So he cranked up the sound and we had all the windows down, singing our heads off heading up the mountain.

To me, just at that moment, all really was right with the world.